Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shock and Awe

A week and a half ago, we got a big surprise- we're expecting baby number FOUR! This came as a shock since my cycles weren't regulated and I am still breastfeeding six to ten times each day. Its definitely a welcome surprise. We really have everything we need for baby, except for a few diaper covers that I plan to crochet, so I get to just relax and focus solely on growing this new life that's inside of me.

Pregnancy symptoms are few but noticeable. I'm very nauseous, especially before 10AM, and around midnight. I have to use the restroom a LOT. I'm exhausted all the time. As annoying as these sound, I am grateful for each of them. After multiple early losses, you learn to find comfort in any sign that your body is safely growing this particular baby. I'm 5.5 weeks, so these are about the only noticeable symptoms I could be having anyway. I start showing early, so am enjoying these next few weeks, as I'm normally in maternity clothes from week 12 or so.

After talking with my husband, praying, and talking to good friends, we are committed to the idea of birthing unassisted (UC; unassisted childbirth). This will be our third homebirth, and our second unassisted birth (the first was unintentional and the midwife was on her way). We knew right away that going anywhere else to birth wouldn't be smart for us. I am blessed and cursed by precipitous labors. Blessed because they're nice and quick. Cursed because they are often intense, and because it means if we choose to leave home for the birth we face the real possibility of a car labor. Which is something that even though we prepare for it (have an emergency birth kit in the van from 36+ weeks), we'd like to avoid. We don't live far from a hospital but would have to wait for hubby to get home from work, someone to get the kids, etc. And precipitous labor in and of itself does not justify to us the risks that come with getting induced just to ensure we're in a "safe" place for the birth.

We've had a hospital birth, an unintentional unassisted birth (our best birth thus far, even with the hardest labor!), and a midwife assisted birth. I labor best alone. Even in the hospital (my longest labor- six hours), I sent hubby to the main room while I was in the tub alone for the majority of active labor. Our first UC hubby was there with me for a lot of the labor. Baby was posterior until the very end and transition was long while she rotated to anterior. I needed his support. Hip squeezes, hanging off his shoulders, etc. But once she turned, I again preferred to space out and be alone. This last birth I was alone for the first half hour, one fourth of the total time I was in labor/birthing. The rest of the time my husband, the midwife, her assistant, and even our then 4 and 2 year olds were around. But I did have another 5-10 minutes alone in the bathroom at that time.

We both are educated, and will further educate ourselves, on childbirth. We'll also both be taking a neonatal resuscitation and CPR course. We plan to see the doctor we used for backup with our homebirths for prenatal care and if we feel its necessary to transfer. I'll likely rent or borrow a doppler to have around during the birth in case labor is longer than we expect, we can check on the baby.

Expect a few posts in the future dedicated to the pregnancy, but not a ton. This isn't a pregnancy blog. I will definitely be posting our maternity pictures when we do them. I am excited to do shots in the World War 2 pinup girl style along with some more traditional shots. I may also do some about our birth kit, hypnobirthing, and preparing to tandem nurse for the second time.

One of my favorite resources for information on UC is BornFree!, a site from Laura Shanley.